Dig The Exploding, Virtual Topographies Of Jhovany Quiroz

“I approach image-making like a scientist looking through an electron microscope or a telescope in search of something sublime," says Quiroz on his digital artwork.

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Aug 11 2014, 3:00pm

Jhovany Quiroz makes digital renderings of vibrant, exploding topographies. Starting with a single image, he deconstructs 3D terrain using commonplace imaging apps. From the iPhone Camera and Photo Editor, to Mextures (for layers, light leaks, and emulsion effects) and Glitché (for three-dimensional imaging), his digital arsenal yields artworks that resemble what we imagine it would look like if a stick of dynamite was sucked into a black hole.

The Mexico-born Quiroz does not use a linear workflow, and he processes, reprocesses, deconstructs, colorizes, and then deconstructs his images again and again until he achieves warped and glitched 3D topographies. “I approach image-making like a scientist looking through an electron microscope or a telescope in search of something sublime,” he told The Creators Project.

The concept for what he calls his “Overlapping Series” developed over time. Originally, he photographed natural landscapes, then layered light onto the images to create an “ethereal effect.” Eventually adopting a more stream-of-consciousness approach, he searched for scenes that could transport the viewer into other dimensions and moments of creation or destruction.

Quiroz finds these moments within images of the mundane. It could be people, skin, an interaction between two individuals, or the sky. It all becomes the sampling fodder for his exploded images. The quality of light, or optics, is also vital to what Quiroz's work. It can reveal or hide the moments he's after in the editing process.

“Through the process of editing and deconstructing, these scenes of creation and destruction are found, augmented, enhanced, and taken apart again until the right instant is found,” he said. “It almost feels like a symbiotic relationship between myself and the images and the apps. I only get what I put into it.”

“The majority of my work seeks to inform me of my own emotional and psychological states—a sort of Rorschach test,” he said. “As the work has developed, I've been draw to an expressive minimalist and abstract expression. This allows my work to speak to the viewer on a deeper more personal level, and the cues to react are the viewers own psyches.”

As for color, Quiroz gravitates toward warm, complimentary colors—ones that please him on some level. When it comes to the texture in his images—which can appear fractured and even psychedelic—Quiroz has a number of approaches.

“Textures are great emotional cues—think smooth silky hair vs. gritty hair, soft hands vs. rough, calloused hands,” he said. “It serves as a way to visualize an represent an emotional state.”

“Sometimes texture can be purely aesthetic,” he added. “The topographical qualities, on the other hand, do serve as a good way to establish place, or the the idea of being in alternate physical spaces; and it allows me to create those spaces of creation, destruction, alternate dimensions and the ethereal.”

Though his current work is digital, Quiroz crafts his pieces so that they can also operate in the material world. He likes it when the digital work is pulled out of virtual space and translated into a physical print. On screen, it's luminous and vibrant in the backlight display. In print, Quiroz said that the work becomes flattened, more graphic, with a nostalgic vibe to it.

He likens it to seeing something really beautiful in person, snapping a photo, developing it later, and then longing for that lost moment. But, ideally, the piece should become a door into another ecstatic perception.

“The work operates in several ways as either a peephole or a portal, depending on the chosen scale of the work,” Quiroz said. “I am mindful of the viewer and their optical experience, and I am using optics to wow them out of their environment, if only for a millisecond, to instill a sense of the sublime.”

For more of Quiroz's work, visit his Tumblr here.

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